RealNetworks CEO Kimball Resigns Suddenly

RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) CEO Bob Kimball, who replaced long-time CEO Rob Glaser just over a year ago and has been aggressively restructuring the company ever since, has resigned in a move that throws the company’s turnaround plans up in the air.

RealNetworks says Kimball is leaving the company because the restructuring, which involved several rounds of layoffs and the launch of the company’s first new product in years, is largely complete. In a statement, Kimball says, “I took on this role to lead a restructuring and transformation of RealNetworks into a more lean, efficient and effective business and we have completed that phase of RealNetworks’ transformation.”

However, Kimball had given no signs that his role at the company would end once the restructuring was finished. Indeed, earlier this year, he conducted a number of press interviews, including with us, in order to lay out his long-term vision for the company, which largely revolved on returning RealNetworks to growth by focusing on two of its long-standing businesses-its software-as-a-service business for carriers and RealPlayer–and also pushing the new product, Unifi, which lets consumers access their personal media from any of their personal devices.

The company has appointed EVP Mike Lunsford as interim CEO, while it conducts a search for a permanent replacement. One person who won’t be taking the job: Glaser, who tells GeekWire he isn’t interested.